First it made its home at places like Studio 54, and then — thanks to synthesizers — it had the entire ’80s decade to call home. In the’90s, it spent most of its time at raves and now in the ’00s, electronic music might as well be considered pop. There are a lot of artists who’ve had a hand in that (from David Bowie, Radiohead to Madonna and Britney Spears) so we thank them for taking a chance on our beloved beats.
In this week’s MP3.com Spotlight, we explore electronic dance music in celebration of Seattle’s 8th Annual Decibel International Festival of Electronic Music (September 28th through October 2nd). Decibel celebrates the diversity of electronic music, bringing together countless artists representing nearly every sub-genre imaginable, from straight-ahead techno and house to newer hybrids such as dubstep and UK funky.
The history of electronic-dance music goes way back to the decadent disco days, where rhythm and blues collided with funk and soul on the dance floor. DJ’s began mixing the soulful tones of disco hits like Donna Summer‘s “I Feel Love” with the motorik, machine rhythms of Kraftwerk‘s”Autobahn” alongside hip-hop and electro-funk to create something entirely new; a synthetic soul that came to be known as house music.
From there electronic-dance music exploded into an array of new genres as DJ’s toured the world spreading unique mixtures of sounds and inspiring producers worldwide to create new sub-genres.
Detroit’s Belleville Three (Kevin Saunderson, Derrick May, and Juan Atkins) and the musical collective known as the Underground Resistance drew on the nascent sound of house music to create their own futuristic sound-vision of the Motor City.
Through the ’80s, ’90s, and up to today, electronic-dance music has grown into a complex and diverse web of related and diverging sounds. And, festivals such as Decibel celebrate and promote dance music pioneers such as Amon Tobin and Moby alongside newer innovators including London’s groundbreaking imprint Night Slugs (Bok Bok, Girl Unit, Egyptrixx), Detroit’s tech-wizkid Kyle Hall, and dubstep’s enigmatic electronic producer Zomby.
In the spirit of Decibel’s devotion to bringing the States talent and creativity, this whole week we’re going to feature free MP3s from artists performing at this year’s festival, as well as several special guest playlists on such topics as favorite electronic artists.
And, now for free music from a man who was largely responsible for bringing electronic music to the masses in the 1990’s–Moby!
Come back tomorrow for a spotlight feature on one of the members of Ladytron‘s musical influences plus a free MP3 from the band!